Today’s very special guest is New York Times bestselling historical romance author Eloisa James.
Eloisa is the author of the Desperate Duchesses series (including An Affair Before Christmas, which I loved), The Essex Sisters series, the Duchess Quartet series, and plenty more. Her latest series, Eloisa’s Fairy Tales, includes A Kiss at Midnight, When Beauty Tamed the Beast, and the forthcoming The Duke is Mine, are fantastic reimaginings of classic fairy tales.
In her other, non-historical romance writer life Eloisa is a graduate of Harvard University, Oxford University and Yale, a Shakespeare scholar, and an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Not to mention a mom of teenagers. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak a few years ago at a conference so I can also add brilliant and entertaining speaker to her list of qualifications. She is a delight in so many ways.
I recently asked Eloisa a few questions about her writing an history. Here’s what she had to say….
What drew you to the Georgian era and the Regency?
Like so many readers, I discovered romance through Georgette Heyer. Growing up on a farm in Minnesota, her books represented a land as far from chicken coops and ten-foot snow piles as possible…and oh, I wanted to be there! The only time I wore a long gown before I turned eighteen was at the senior prom, which was followed by a party in a gravel pit. You get the idea! I have an incurable love for the sweep of silk, for elegant ballrooms, for dukes with great thighs displayed in white stockings. I have mostly written in the Regency period, but I did a 6-book series (Desperate Duchesses) set in the Georgian period as well. At that point I was interested in shaping a series that would follow people with naughtier mores than one finds in Regency high society. The Georgian period was fascinating, with a far more explicit and open attitude toward relationships between men and women. I had a lot of fun with my duchesses, and then came back to the Regency period with a series of fairy tales, which is where I am now. The Duke is Mine (on the shelves December 27) is my version of The Princess and the Pea. I’m currently working on The Ugly Duchess, which speaks for itself. They’re both Regency-set.
If given the chance, would you want to travel back in time and visit either period? What would you most be interested in experiencing back then?
Absolutely! Although I would bring a little handy bag with everything from antibiotics to tampons. In fact, I’d most like to visit the Renaissance. I would find Shakespeare, whether he was in London or Stratford, ask him a load of questions, and then get my hands on his lost play, Love’s Labors Won. And I’d bring it back home with me. Maybe I’d bring him back home with me too, although I suppose that would change the course of history.
What time period other than what you’re writing in right now would you be interested in setting a novel?
The Renaissance… this makes sense, since I’m a professor of Renaissance drama. I’m a fairly historically minded scholar; my current book is on three small theater companies located in London between 1600 and 1610. I would find it really fun to set a novel in one of those theaters, in say 1610. I think it would have to be a bigger book than a romance (although I would always have a romance inside). Historical novels are great fun, and I might well write one, someday.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of Eloisa’s books yet … what are you waiting for???? Rush down to your local bookstore or fire up your eReader right now! You won’t be disappointed.
In fact, her latest novella, Winning the Wallflower, is out today. What a great way to be introduced to your new favorite historical romance novelist? You can download Winning the Wallflower for Kindle here or for Nook here . (I just bought my copy! =D)
Or if you’d like to pre-order The Duke is Mine, releasing December 27th, click here .
Don’t want to wait that long? Well, Eloisa has generously offered a signed copy of When Beauty Tamed the Beast to one of my lucky readers.
And how do I win a copy of this super cool book, you ask? Easy. Leave a comment below telling me which of Eloisa James’ books you like the most, or are the most interested in reading, and you will be entered to win once. But wait, there’s more! See those links over to the right of the page? “Like” me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter for another entry in the drawing. Follow this blog for an additional entry. Shameless self-promotion meets your opportunity to win a really wonderful book. Entries will be open through Friday. Check back on Saturday for the announcement of the winner.
Thank you, Eloisa, for taking the time from your super busy life to share with me and my readers. You’re the best!